From the Editor-in-Chief’s desk: Your May 16 briefing


Bula vinaka

Here are some stories that made the headlines in The Sunday Times’ edition for May 16.

The big one on Page 1 is about the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre urging women and children to seek immediate help and not suffer in silence if they are going through any form of abuse.

Suva-Nausori areas wore a deserted look as the full lockdown kicked in on Friday night.


Ministry of Health and Medical Services permanent secretary, Dr. James Fong. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

The permanent secretary for Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong has announced another two new cases of COVID-19.

It should be a concern for us all that there are still cases popping up. It means the virus is still out there.

It is encouraging though to note that the Fiji Centre for Disease Control has been fully decontaminated and will resume processing COVID-19 tests.

In his statement tonight, Dr Fong said all remaining CDC staff have continued to test negative for COVID-19.

None of the laboratory staff, he said, have tested positive to date, which indicates the virus was brought in from the community.

The two new cases, he said, were tied to existing clusters. The first was a close contact from the most recent Makoi cluster. The second was a close contact from the cluster in Nadali, Nausori.

In saying that, residents of Suva and Nausori went into lockdown from Friday night.
Perhaps we should pause now and consider the implications of this lockdown.

What it means for us all.
The fact that there may be cases out there means we must be vigilant. We must adhere to rules set out for us. That means staying home.

It’s as simple as that!
Let’s embrace this lockdown. Let’s cut the virus. Let’s unite to beat it.

Now if you are sick, or you feel you may have the virus, please call the 158 help line. Don’t be afraid. The best place for you to be would be in a hospital assisted by qualified medical staff. Remember we are all in this together. Let’s make it one for all, all for one!

The ministry’s contact tracing teams, Dr Fong said, are using the lockdown period as a window of opportunity to trace and test primary and secondary contacts of existing cases within Suva and Nausori.

Now our challenge as a nation is to adhere to physical distancing rules.

So let’s remain in our bubbles. Let’s protect our bubbles and let’s ensure the nation is able to recover from this latest outbreak.

It isn’t easy doing what our medical experts, and contact tracing teams are doing right now.

It saps the energy. It can be very frustrating, and can drain emotions.

But someone has to do this. Let’s get out of our comfort zones. It may not be easy for some of us, but that challenge rests on our shoulders.
We can either do the right thing now, or we can shirk our responsibilities and watch our country slip into the abyss.


Part of the 10,000 doses of Australian-manufactured Astra Zeneca vaccines at the Nadi International Airport. Picture: SUPPLIED

Additional vaccines 

An additional 10,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines from Australia arrived in the country on Friday night.

Acting Commissioner of Police, Rusiate Tudravu. speaking at a press conference in Suva on Friday, May 14, 2021. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

Curfew breach 

People continue to breach curfew hours and social gathering restrictions within the ambit of the COVID-19 operations, says Acting Commissioner of Police, Rusiate Tudravu.

WAF bills

The Water Authority of Fiji has offered a 30-days extension for its customers who are unable to pay their current water bills.
#POLICE have beefed up operations.
#PLANNED power outages are scheduled for May 13.


A lab technician at work at the Fiji Centre for
Disease Control in Tamavua, Suva last month.

Fiji CDC
The Fiji Centre for Disease Control has resumed COVID-19 tests with another two new cases recorded.

Domestic violence 

The Fiji Women Crisis Centre has reported a spike of more than 60 per cent in domestic violence cases over the past three weeks.

COVID contained

The Northern Division is COVID-19 contained, says Ministry of Health and Medical Services permanent secretary Dr James Fong.

Full lockdown

A full lock down could be the best strategy to flush out the COVID-19 virus, says Suva Retailers Association president Jetesh Patel.

FNPF members in Lautoka seeking assistance following job losses and reduced work hours as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in Fiji. Picture: FT FILE

FNPF extension

The Fiji National Provident Fund has extended the deadline for contribution payments to May 31, 2021 because of continuous lockdown restrictions.

Media bias

There is a need for a regulation and an independent institution to prevent media bias, thus ensuring a level playing field among election participants during general elections.

Land owners attend an earlier Fiji Pine Group bonus payment at Drasa in Lautoka. Picture: REINAL CHAND/FILE

Dividend payout 

The Fiji Pine Ltd Board has approved a dividend payout of $F6million for this financial year.

Emergency plan

The best course of action a family can take at this time is ensuring that they have an emergency plan in place for themselves, and their families.


Barter system

Barter system has been a life saver for more than 400 people living at Nasowata settlement outside Lautoka City for the past year.

Savoury seller

Sereana Koroi, a food and savoury seller in Nadi, says of the 16 people who used to do the same business, 12 have closed down their stalls.


People stand in line for hours to do their shopping as health restrictions restricts overcrowding inside the supermakets. Picture: ATU RASEA

Lockdown fishing

While hundreds of Fijians flocked to the supermarkets to stock up food items and groceries, Wasu Dean and his nephews did not have the luxury to do shopping but instead went fishing to sustain themselves during the four day lock down.

Vendors hit hard

Three months after recovering from the impact of two cyclones and just when business was beginning to pick up, Labasa market vendors have been hit hard by the COVID-19 containment restrictions and lock down.

Day for families

The International Day of Families was marked today.

Contact 158

People living along the Suva- Nausori corridor have been advised to contact 158 if they feel unwell.

Navy officers and the Ministry of Forestry staff members as part of the Fiji Emergency Medical Assistance Team conduct screening tests along Fletcher Rd in Vatuwaqa, Suva recently. Picture: ATU RASEA

Navy personnel

Fiji Navy personnel have been heavily engaged in efforts to conduct COVID-19 screening and swabbing.

FNU bursary scheme

Fiji National University has launched the student bursary scheme to assist 19 private student tuition fees.


NGO Eid aid

Non-Government organisation Being Helping Hands Fiji distributed food packs and vouchers for Eid to more than 20 families in Nausori.

Lockdown loss

Nausori Market vendor Zabin Raj says she lost more than $500 worth of vegetables during the last three-day snap lockdown and that set the stage for a scaled down Eid celebration this week.



Check out letters on Pages 6 and 7.



There’s a lot to read inside. Check out John Kamea’s Behind the News. It’s no holds barred.

Discovering Fiji
Read about: UNDER British rule, education in Fiji was characterised by a number of commissions often initiated by governors who were not satisfied with the state of learning in the colony.


Chef Lance Seeto has something special for you: One of the most common recipe requests I get is for soup, especially clear broths. Broths aren’t difficult to make, but do take some time and patience, both of which we have plenty of during this current lockdown.



The back page is on the Silktails rugby league side.


There’s a lot to read inside. You’ll have to get a copy though to know what we are talking about. Happy reading!


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You could also just follow a few steps and read The Sunday Times a few minutes later. Live and direct!
1: Log onto 2: Select the SUBSCRIBE tab. 3: Register. 4: Select mPaisa payment option!
Try it! It’s a different experience!

There’s a lot to read inside. You’ll have to get a copy though to know what we are talking about. Happy reading!


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